Holding her own

DESPITE being the general manager of a male-dominated company, Traralgon’s Julie Mack has taken the organisation from strength to strength.

Ms Mack took on the challenge of managing about 16 male employees about a year ago, bringing both vision and “sound management” to Maffra Trenching and Boring.

The company, which is the brainwork of her father, is now run and managed by the family, under the astute mind of Ms Mack.

“I’m the eldest of four brothers so I’m not really intimidated by all the boys,” Ms Mack said.

“Dad started the business 35 years ago and I was pretty much born into it; I went to work with Dad as a three year-old.”

After pursuing a degree in public relations and later becoming a key player at the Victorian Farmer’s Federation, family ties tugged at the heart of Ms Mack, who was persuaded into joining her brothers and the family business.

While the 7am starts and long days were a challenge at first, Ms Mack took each day in her stride, visiting various sites, conducting internal audits and overseeing the company.

“Dad and my brothers worked hard to build up the business… and I guess by bringing me in it brought in some fresh perspective,” she said.

“I think coming in with outside corporate experience was also a good thing for the family business.”

MTB recently trumped businesses across the state, after acquiring a $3 million Gippsland Water project, an acquisition heralded by Ms Mack as a proof of trust invested in local companies.

So how does the 34 year-old mum balance family and work?

“Integrity is a key factor; to be successful you tell your client what you’re going to do, stick to what you say and deliver on that while following all the regulations within the stipulated timeframe,” Ms Mack said.

She added while there were pros and cons of working with your own family, the siblings had two strict rules – “don’t involve partners in the business and don’t talk about work during family lunches”.

As businesswoman and sister, Ms Mack is keen to share her spotlight with her four brothers – Adam, Bill, Robbie and Craig – where she is often the subject of their witty banter.

“Dad worked hard to build the business to what it is and through that hard work and determination we’re trying to build it up again to make it even bigger for our kids,” she said.

“It is an interesting industry that comes with its share of challenges, but it is a fantastic industry to be involved in.”